Monday, 24 March 2014

Hampsfell in heels...

On top of the hospice, on top of Hampsfell in a tiara & high heels
Well not quite, I only put that because it rhymes.  I did don heels but only briefly and only at the very summit - to try walking over the limestone pavements in anything other than proper boots would have been madness. As those who know me know, I don't wear make-up or at least I only wear it on very, very rare occasions (4 years ago was the last occasion by my reckoning and prior to that our wedding day in 2003)  so when all the "barefacedselfies" started doing the rounds no-one nominated me and for good reason, I mean I really wouldn't look any different would I?

Thing is my dad died of cancer in 1986 when I was just 18 and my sister has survived breast cancer.  On top of that the wife of a very good friend lost her battle to the evil disease in 2012 and another friend lost her mother last year.  And that's just the very tip of an enormous iceberg - the guy from work who died of liver cancer, my brother-in-law's sister-in-law (work that one out!) who died of blood cancer, my husband's aunt who died of a brain tumour and so on.  You get my drift, cancer sucks.

So I wanted to join in and do my bit and this was what I came up with - if everyone else was wiping the make-up off, why don't I plaster it on?  And instead of taking the selfie in the comfort of my living room why not hike up the nearest fell in full evening attire while I'm on?  Trust me, if something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing, which is why I surprised a number of people on Hampsfell this morning.

Every adventure in life should teach you something and I definitely learned stuff today - I learned that make-up can go off, I learned that make-up applicators disintegrate over time, I learned that  Qtips make lousy eye shadow applicators and I learned that fingers can apply make-up just fine.  (Oh and I also learned that miniskirts and high stone stiles don't mix as you'll see from the photo below)

Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, all I ask is that if you giggle, at least once, you click this link to my JustGiving page and donate a couple of quid.  Honestly, every single penny helps and though it won't bring back any of the good folks we've lost, it may help our loved ones in the future.  Thank you.  :-)

UPDATE: Thanks to you I raised over £150 from JustGiving & other donations. Not bad for a hike. Maybe I should wear make up more often? 😀

Slapping it on!

Not my usual rucksack rations.

Helena Bonham Carter eat your heart out.

The hair was not part of the bet, I just like it this colour.

High stiles were not meant for short skirts.

My only pair of heels. They stayed on for 5 mins.

Matching nail varnish & phone case, tres fashionable so I'm told...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Head Above the Clouds

“Inversion, inversion in inversion” I chirped as I bounced up and down on the bed at 6:30am.  You really have to pity Steve at times.  Grabbing some clobber I decided that, for a change, we’d nip up Hampsfell as we’d not seen an inversion over the bay before.  Steve wasn’t so sure, but then he’s never been much of a morning person.

Hampsfell Hospice

I bounced up the fell, full of the joys of spring, but the bounces got slower and further apart as I neared the top and realised we needed to be considerably higher.  Steve emerged from the mist with a face that said he perhaps occasionally missed the quiet and rather more predictable life he enjoyed before he met me.

Bribing him with coffee and the promise of pies from Higginson’s we switched to plan B – head back to the car and aim for Red Screes.

There were no breaks at all in the mist along the A590 and we began to have our doubts but, as we neared the top of Kirkstone Pass the cloud began to thin and out we popped.  We parked up in bright sunshine and began our hike up the fell.  Red Screes is a straightforward hike with steps most of the way and a bit of a scramble towards the top.  By now my early energy levels had dropped and Steve disappeared off ahead to get some shots from the summit.

I caught him up at a small rocky outcrop around Snarker Moss where we set about the coffee and a couple of Scotch Eggs and sat back to take in the views.  I’m a huge fan of trashy “end of the world” disaster movies and sitting above the clouds with just the peaks of the other fells around us reminded me of the scene at the end of “2012” where the sea has covered the globe leaving only the highest peaks in the clear.

We had no other big plans for the day so rather than race around we decided to sit back in the sunshine and watch the clouds as they ebbed and flowed in the valleys below.  The fells were deserted and the only other sound was a skylark singing away as it flew high above us.  The fells are usually such a high energy place so it was lovely to just relax for a few hours up there and take in the views;  I’ll admit I had a quick snooze before we decided it was lunch time and polished off a couple more pies.

By now the inversion had dissipated and the breeze had picked up so we began to make our way back to the car.  We passed several other hikers along the way and part of me felt sorry for them for missing the best part of the day but, if I’m honest, another part was secretly glad we’d had the fells to ourselves for so long.

It was still far too nice a day for rushing around so we paused for a well earned pint and a bowl of chips in the wonderful Kirkstone Pass Inn before finally heading home.  It may not have been the first inversion we’d seen and possibly not even the best, but it was certainly the most relaxing and one we’ll remember for a long time to come.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Outdoors Life -v- Office Life

On our latest outing for Walks & Wildlife magazine we were wondering how life in the outdoors compares with office life - here's what we came up with:

Health & Safety.

The outdoors has not been entirely risk assessed...


Steve on Jack's Rake (tiny white spec in the middle!)



Hazardous Chemicals

Can't be too careful.

Staff canteen

Leaves a lot to be desired.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Occasional and unavoidable.

Display Screen Equipment

Protective eye equipment does occasionally need to be worn.

Repetitive Strain Injury

Can be a bit of a plod sometimes...

Getting the desk by the window

Can sometimes be a fight.

The office joker

There's always one.

The Management

Keeping their beady eye on you...

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

To be worn at all times.